DNC Chairman Tom Perez chose to manage expectations for the midterm elections on Monday when asked about solid support for President Trump among roughly half the population.

CNN’s John Berman asked why a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows 47 percent of voters backing the commander in chief, but he was met with a non sequitur.

“In this new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll the president’s approval rating is at 47 percent — the highest it has been in that poll. What do you attribute that to?” Mr. Berman asked on CNN’s “New Day.”

“Well listen, we always knew that this election was going to be close,” Mr. Perez replied. “I don’t use the term ‘blue wave.’ I always talk about the need for the blocking and tackling. I always talk about the need for organizing to make sure you’re leading with your values, and that’s how we’ve been winning throughout this year and 2017. [We’re] talking about those issues that matter most. … What we need to do is make sure we turn out our votes.”

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Mr. Perez’s sentiment was echoed during an interview with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“I know a lot of people talk about this blue wave and all that stuff — I don’t believe it,” Mr. Sanders told Hill.TV. “I happen to think that on election night you’re going to find a very, very close situation and maybe a handful of votes determining whether Democrats gain control of the House and that we have an entity to stand up to [President] Trump or we don’t.”

Democrats in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll hold a 48 percent to 41 percent lead among registered voters, although Mr. Trump’s approval rating is at a new high for that survey. “There’s a higher interest in this election than we’ve ever measured,” NBC’s Chuck Todd told his “Meet the Press” audience on Sunday. “Turnout is going to be through the roof.”

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